Ford has taken the softly softly approach with their new generation of the bestselling Ford Fiesta. Now on its seventh generation, the development of the new Ford Fiesta was more of a refining exercise than a radical overhaul.
But why mess too much with a winning formula? The Ford Fiesta was Ireland’s bestselling small car in 2017 and the car has the sort of name recognition that many can only dream of. The Irish public have been on first name terms with the Fiesta since it first arrived over 40 years ago and Ford has made the package that little bit more appealing again for 2018.
The Fiesta’s styling has been tweaked to accommodate a slightly wider and longer body, while the introduction of new circular LED daytime running lights at the front are a sharp new distinguishing feature. At the back the rear light clusters are horizontal rather than vertical.
In latter years, the interior of the Ford Fiesta had started to look very old and dated so out goes the old and in with a new, more modern layout for generation seven. All but the entry level model come with an 6.5” touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The interior of the Fiesta now looks less drab and of better quality.
Up front shoulder room is good for driver and passenger. There is more legroom for rear seat passengers but against rivals like the Honda Jazz and Skoda Fabia, the Ford Fiesta doesn’t look particularly generous in that regard. The boot is an average 292 litres though it’s by no mean impractical.
In Ireland engine choices for new Fiesta include 1.1-litre naturally aspirated petrol engines with 70 or 85hp, a 1.0-litre turbo petrol EcoBoost with 100hp and a 1.5-litre diesel with 85hp. My test car was powered by the 1.0-litre EcoBoost and it’s nippy around town while also carrying enough robustness and flexibility for strong performance out of town on bigger roads and motorways. It scores well for refinement with no infuriating noise or vibration and I returned about 47 mpg over a week long test drive.
The new Ford Fiesta seems to have taken a step forward in comfort and refinement in this new generation. On the move, it’s very stable and settled, but it’s also good fun when the roads get a bit twistier. There’s a new suspension and cornering grip has been improved by 10%, while braking distances have been improved by 8%. The car moves through bends at speed with minimal body roll and with unrivalled steering precision.
In Ireland the new Fiesta goes on sale from €16,650 for a Zetec model that includes 15” steel wheels with covers, electric/heated mirrors with indicators, Lane-Keeping Alert, Lane-Keeping Aid, Speed Limiter, auto lights, ESP with Hill Start Assist, MyKey, Ford AM/FM radio with 4.2” TFT screen, Bluetooth with My Ford Device Dock, manual air conditioning, electric front windows and remote central locking.
Titanium models start from €19,050 and include 15” alloys, LED daytime running lights, front fog lights with cornering lights, chrome belt line finisher, chrome upper grille, Ford SYNC 3 DAB radio with 6.5” touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Quickclear heated windscreen, 3-spoke leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio controls and a Thatcham alarm.
There’s also a sporty looking ST-Line range from €19,850 and an upscale Vignale range from €26,530.
The Ford Fiesta is not the poshest supermini and it’s not the biggest but the Fiesta’s comfort, refinement and mature road manners give it universal appeal. The modern interior and addition of more technology once again make the Ford Fiesta a formidable contender in its segment.
Model tested: Ford Fiesta 1.0L EcoBoost 100hp Titanium
Price: €20,150 (Range from €16,650)
Engine: 1.0-litre turbo petrol
0-100km/h: 10.5 seconds
Top speed: 185km/h
CO2 emissions: 97g/km
Motor tax: €180 per year